By now it’s no secret that SIBLING are obsessed with the pop culture of the seventies and eighties, and why wouldn’t they be – perhaps no other era speaks to the current age of excess and celebrity adoration quite so knowingly. For Autumn they turn to two icons who subverted the worlds of music and art like no others: Grace Jones and Jean Michel Basquiat.
It’s the feeling and look of Basquiat which informs the collection most. The ‘Jones’ colour palette, taken from her album covers, of primary colours – acid yellow and blood red - shoot through traditional patterns, which use as their base the more muted royal blue and grey.
These colours play across the loose shapes Basquiat made his trademark. Baggy pleated trousers and cropped wide suit jackets he might have bought from Flip, the iconic boutique on West 8th Street in the eighties, are re made here in luxury Dormeuil fabrics. The SIBLING Fair Isle finds inspiration in his chaotic painting style and is based upon random notebook doodles, a graphic hand knit is the same pattern cropped and enlarged, whilst knitted jackets with drop shoulders, overly long sleeves and washed wool chevron tie belts reflect his loose personal style. So loose that there’s a Buffalo Blanket skirt in a fair isle called ‘Fab 5’, fastened with knitted military insignia.
In a nod to Jones’ combative image are SIBLING Boxing Shorts (a classic men’s boxer with a high waist in SIBLING iconic leopard print) and logo sports socks, worn with matching knitted gloves and face protectors. They’re the boys Jones would’ve sparred with in her ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ fighting gear or even Basquiat himself, similarly clad in boxing shorts, arms crossed with Andy Warhol, in a photograph from 1985 by Michael Halsbland. A fine knitted lace glittering Boxing Gown with matching shorts appears to be a feminine take on the uber macho sporting look and yet is a look so often seen in the ring.
This clash of female and male is at the heart of SIBLING - Disco vs. Hip Hop, hard vs. soft, as encapsulated by the boys they create. This season their nonchalant gang are ready for a Wednesday night at the Café de Paris – where better for Jones to drag her sharp nails across their backs.